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National Mission for Clean Ganga- An Overview

National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It acted as the implementation arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA)  which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986.

• The mission is being implemented by the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, GoI. 

• The Act envisages five-tier structure at national, state and district level to  take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental  pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so  as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below:

1. National Ganga Council under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation).

3. National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG).

4. State Ganga Committees and

5. District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.

Vision: 

The Vision for Ganga Rejuvenation constitutes restoring the wholesomeness of the river defined in terms of ensuring “Aviral Dhara” (Continuous Flow”) “Nirmal Dhara”(“Unpolluted Flow”)Geologic and Ecological integrity.

Objectives:  

• To ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river  Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral coordination for comprehensive planning and management.

• To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development.

Functions:  

  • Implement the work programme of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA).
  • Implement the World Bank supported the National Ganga River Basin Project.
  • Coordinate and oversee the implementation of projects sanctioned by the Government of India under NGRBA.
  • Undertake any additional work or functions as may be assigned by  MoWR, RD &GJ in the area of conservation of river Ganga.
  • Make rules and regulations for the conduct of the affairs of the NMCG and add or amend, vary or rescind them from time to time.
  • Accept or to provide any grant of money, loan securities or property of any kind and to undertake and accept the management of any endowment trust, fund or donation not inconsistent with the objectives of NMCG.
  • Take all such action and to enter all such actions as may appear necessary or incidental for the achievements of the objectives of the NGRBA.

Location- Ganga Basin

Ganga — A National River:  
  • Ganga has been a cradle of human civilization since time immemorial. Millions depend on this great river for physical and spiritual sustenance.
  • People have immense faith in the powers of healing and regeneration of the Ganga. It is arguably the most sacred river in the world and is deeply revered by the people of this country.
  • The River plays a vital role in religious ceremonies and rituals. To bathe in  Ganga is a lifelong ambition of many who congregate in large numbers for several rivers centred festivals such as Kumbh Mela and numerous Snan  (bath) festivals.
Location:  
  • Ganga basin is the largest river basin in India in terms of the catchment area, constituting 26% of the country’s landmass (8,61,404 sq. km) and supporting about 43% of its population (448.3 million as per 2001 census).
  • The basin covers 11 states viz., Uttarakhand, U.P., M.P., Rajasthan, Haryana,  Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Delhi.
  • The current focus of world bank funded National Ganga River Basin Projects  (NGRBP) of NMCG is on five major states on the main stem of river Ganga namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

Climate:  

  • The annual average rainfall in the basin varies between 39 cm to 200 cm, with an average of 110 cm. Eighty per cent of the rainfall occurs during the monsoon months i.e. from June to October. Because of large temporal variations in precipitation over the year, there is wide fluctuation in the flow characteristics of the river.
Soil Characteristics:  
  • The Ganga basin consists of a wide variety of soils. While soils of the high  Himalayas in the north are subject to continuous erosion, the Gangetic plain provides a huge receptacle into which thousands of meters of thick layers of sediments have been deposited to form a wide valley plain.
  • Broadly, it can be said that soils in Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, through which the main stem of Ganga and all its tributaries flow, have very high erodibility.

Demography:  

  • Demography has an important bearing on the state of the river as it is significantly affected by the population living within the basin. The average population density in the Ganga basin is 520 persons per square km as against 312 for the entire country (2001 census).
  • Major cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Allahabad are situated in the basin. The cities in the basin have large and growing populations and a rapidly expanding industrial base.

Course of Ganga